Customers favor Auspex

by Eliot Bergson

Santa Clara, CA Auspex Systems, a manufacturer of high-end UNIX file servers in Sun Microsystems environments, has made bold moves into the NeXT market.

Auspex customers already include Williams Telecommunications (WilTel) of The Woodlands, Texas, and the Dallas office of Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon, and Eckhardt, an advertising firm. The six-foot-tall black boxes, called the Auspex NS 5500 and NS 3000, will soon be in place at Phibro Energy as part of its new state-of-the-art trading floor in Westport, Connecticut, and Swiss Bank Corporation/O'Connor (SBC/OC) Services in Chicago.

"We loved their technology. We've been looking at it for three years," said Rob Wilen, vice-president of SBC/OC's office automation group.

That technology includes disk striping, which reads and writes data across several drives simultaneously. Data is mirrored in two locations on the server for security. If a drive goes down, Auspex's "hot-pluggable" technology lets a technician pull that drive while the server is still running. The new drive is automatically formatted, rebuilt, and returned as the data host.

The server is also fast, using "functional multiprocessing," according to Mike Bennett, marketing communications manager for Auspex. The server's I/O functions are regulated by four processors, each with its own chip, memory, and portion of the operating software.

The company continues to make sales, even though its servers do not yet support NetInfo, the heart of NeXT's network environment. A workaround developed at WilTel is available to NeXT users while Auspex is looking at providing a NetInfo port for customers, Bennett said.